My Dear Friend,
Today you will spend eight hours attached to a chair in a sterile room at John Hopkins. If I were there I would stroke your hand and tell you jokes to pass the time. But I’m here and all I have to offer is an escape by way of words and imagination.
Close your eyes. Follow me down a stone path that descends steeply to a small wooden deck hanging alluringly over the wetlands. First, open your ears. The distant hum is not the freeway or the garbage truck outside your bedroom window, it is the wild intensity of crashing surf. Now filter in the layers of birdsong, staccato honk of geese overhead, churtling from a scuffle of small birds, melancholy crow song from a nearby tree.
Open your eyes. Your pupils will adjust easily to winter’s muted palette. Let them drift around, softly looking. What seemed perfectly still a moment ago reveals a million tiny movements. A swarm of gnats come into focus just a few inches from the warm exhale of your mouth. Ack, don’t swallow them! Then at the shoreline, ripples, the edges shimmering hypnotically with reflected light, the push of duck breast against water.
Now lift your eyes to take in the lines of Inverness Ridge. Foreground and background stand like paper cut outs in your old school project dioramas. Overhead, God sky, as we used to call it, the sun rays filtering individual fingers through the clouds. The deciduous trees that line the edge of the bay are stark in their winter nakedness against the hill’s evergreen coat. Pine, Bay, Fir, who knows?
Let’s stand here together at the edge of this continent, my arm around your shoulder or fingers smoothing your hair, and feel what our bodies feel when they are freed from the daily purgatories of ‘must do’ and ‘must be’. When they are simply two bodies with open ears and open eyes standing out on an old wooden deck.
Can you feel it?
I love you so very much,